The 5 whys

This is by far one of my favourite techniques for figuring out the root of any problem.

It’s simple. When you have a problem or need to dive into an issue just ask yourself “why?” five times.

For example:

Why can’t I get any work done? Because I’m distracted.

Why? Because I can’t focus on one thing at a time.

Why? I’m always jumping back and forth between different things.

Why? Because I receive too many notifications.

Why? Because I haven’t disabled notifications.

This example is a conversation I had with myself just over a month ago. You can read more about it from this post about killing notifications.